4E Sell Me On WotBS / Zeitgeist - Page 2
Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12
Results 11 to 19 of 19
  1. #11
    Member
    Grandmaster of Flowers (Lvl 18)



    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    7,894
    Actually, the 'christmas tree' phenomenon is typical of 3e (and Pathfinder).

    In 4e only two items are 'required' by combat math: a magic weapon and magic armor.
    And if you're using the inherent bonus rules that were introduced in the 'Dark Sun' setting, you can get rid of these two, as well.
    XP Tequila Sunrise gave XP for this post

  2. #12
    Member
    Titan (Lvl 27)



    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    San Jose/Santa Clara, CA
    Posts
    15,301
    Quote Originally Posted by Jhaelen View Post
    Actually, the 'christmas tree' phenomenon is typical of 3e (and Pathfinder).

    In 4e only two items are 'required' by combat math: a magic weapon and magic armor.
    magic weapon and/or implement, and magic armor /and/ neck-slot item, for those non-AC defenses. So, at least three. Depending on how versatile your chosen weapon is, you might need a melee weapon, ranged weapon & an implement. (For instance, the Skald in my current campaign has some powers that key off basic attack, so he uses both a melee weapon and a thrown weapon for MBAs & RBAs, and an implement to cast Vicious Mockery or other standard game Bard powers).
    And if you're using the inherent bonus rules, you can get rid of these two, as well.
    Yes. Makes items wholly optional. Very simple & handy.
    XP Tequila Sunrise gave XP for this post

  3. #13
    Member
    Cutpurse (Lvl 5)



    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Russia, Moscow
    Posts
    292
    Quote Originally Posted by Jhaelen View Post
    Actually, the 'christmas tree' phenomenon is typical of 3e (and Pathfinder).

    In 4e only two items are 'required' by combat math: a magic weapon and magic armor.
    And if you're using the inherent bonus rules that were introduced in the 'Dark Sun' setting, you can get rid of these two, as well.
    We're drifting a bit offtopic, but I'm geniunely curious whether this problem exists only within my mind. For the reference, in Zeitgeist PCs are provided with government-funded "stipend", which they can use to requisition magic items (they're supposed to hand in all the loot they obtain during the adventure as soon as it's not immediately needed, i.e. between adventures). There's a loose system to prevent frequent requisitions of rare items, but it's another topic to discuss.

    Even within uncommon item pool, there are a lot of items with useful situational daily/encounter powers, usually in a form of immediate interrupts or augmentations of PC's attacks. To be specific, for example, psion in my party is generally using +3 orb for his attacks, but keeps 2 more cheap as dirt +1 orbs for useful encounter powers. I was thinking about converting the campaign to inherent bonuses rules, but that actually leaves even more spare gold to use on low-level useful items. I'm actually not strictly opposed to the idea of "superagent-flavored" fantasy with PCs having a lot of cool (and unpractical by common sense) gadgets, but the amount of interrupts within a single round of combat is growing out of control (and I've heard that this is a problem of 4e in general in high levels, even without additional mayhem of item powers). There's a point of campaign where I could wriggle in a change of rules to 5e, and I'm currently have ~3 adventures left to decide, whether I want to do so...

  4. #14
    Member
    Enchanter (Lvl 12)



    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Cleveland, OH
    Posts
    3,224
    There's a lot of different problems being conflated into one.

    Problem: characters wearing a shedload of magic items.
    Solution: item slots limit the number of items you can wear.

    Problem: characters *still* wearing 'too many' items.
    Solution: further decrease number of slots, or just don't give out as many items.

    Problem: characters have Bags of Holding full of one-use or limited use trinkets (not 'slot' items).
    Solution: don't give them out.

    Problem: I don't like magic items in my game.
    Solution: use inherent bonuses, or play a different game. (D&D == magic items, to many players.)
    XP D'karr, Tequila Sunrise gave XP for this post

  5. #15
    Member
    The Great Druid (Lvl 17)

    D'karr's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Woodbridge, VA 22192
    Posts
    3,331

    Magic Items are a character build resource

    Quote Originally Posted by hirou View Post
    For the reference, in Zeitgeist PCs are provided with government-funded "stipend", which they can use to requisition magic items (they're supposed to hand in all the loot they obtain during the adventure as soon as it's not immediately needed, i.e. between adventures). There's a loose system to prevent frequent requisitions of rare items, but it's another topic to discuss.
    In all versions of D&D magic items have been a given default, and the default world is always high magic. The Christmas Tree Effect has been in place from the beginning, and I first encountered it in a home game circa 1983. As the editions moved forward there was no stopping this effect because the same paradigm was being applied in every edition. Magic Items were necessary to combat certain monsters, and more powerful magic items were needed as you leveled. And Magic Items are cool, so everyone wants to have more of them.

    In 3.x magic items became an absolute necessity with advancement because without them the characters would soon lag way behind their monster counterparts (mathematically speaking). That was the reason for the wealth by level advancement charts. If you started the game at X level you were expected to have X level of wealth so you would be at even odds against the challenges you were expected to encounter. You were expected to be able to buy magic items almost freely, and/or even craft them from scratch, for a discounted price. Wrecking the economy along the way as magic items are now available to sell that the characters can create with moderate effort.

    What 4e did was take all those existing assumptions into account from the beginning and shift the paradigm for magic items from a DM resource to a player character build resource. In 4e, if the characters don't have the base number of magic items they will also start to lag way behind their opposition (mathematically speaking). Each magic item has a level so it can be arranged in the "proper" category of "when should I be getting this magic item?" The magic items wish lists are there so that the DM can provide magic items that the players are interested in, and still maintain the illusion of a DM resource - no use giving the wizard a craghammer when what he is really interested in is a Tome. But the items are very clearly still intended as a character build resource. Selling the items is assumed to be at 20% of list price so that magic item selling is not an attractive proposition. Creating magic items is also gone from base rules since characters are expected to be out adventuring, not becoming TomesRUs distributors.

    Then Dark Sun came along and it is supposed to be a low magic campaign setting. So the 4e designers gave the inherent bonus. Now the characters will still stay on par with the opposition (mathematically speaking), but magic items are no longer necessary.

    Then Essentials came along and introduced item rarity. Instead of clearly explaining to DMs what they should understand mechanically about magic items, they tried to introduce magic items again as a DM resource. Don't get me wrong a DM that knows what the purpose of magic items is, can adjust his game to be magic item agnostic. But even the designers seem to have had some issue understanding their own baselines.

    What Zeitgeist seems to do is take the 4e base assumptions and provide a simple way of dealing with them for the Zeitgeist campaign. Your "stipend" gives you access to Q's Workshop where you can buy the item you really want, and treasure is capped. I haven't looked at the numbers but I'm pretty sure the stipend closely resembles the 4e magic item distribution guidelines of one item at Level+X, one item at Level, one item at Level-X and gold equivalent to Level-X. If I recall those guidelines correctly.

    So if you plan on using inherent bonus exclusively the characters will remain mathematically even with the opposition. So maybe you want to find a number that is appropriate for the stipend (maybe 20% to match what you would get for selling the items in the first place). Be warned, magic items are cool. You might want to carefully consider what the players really want out of the game if you plan to significantly change the magic item paradigm. In other words, understand clearly the base assumptions the rules are trying to cover so you can adjust them to what you really want to accomplish without introducing harmful or incongruous knock on effects.
    Last edited by D'karr; Friday, 10th November, 2017 at 09:41 PM.

  6. #16
    Member
    The Great Druid (Lvl 17)

    D'karr's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Woodbridge, VA 22192
    Posts
    3,331

    Thoughts of Q's Workshop

    I have not read Zeitgeist but the mention of getting a stipend reminded me of Spycraft (d20).

    I don't know if this is workable, but it might be an extremely simple solution to the magic item distribution issue, if it is indeed an issue.

    You don't get a stipend to "buy" items out of Q's Workshop. You get a regular distribution of magic items at every level or couple of levels. The stipend is used so you can purchase items in the local economy. Need to bribe an agent, use the stipend. Need to buy drinks at the local bar, use the stipend. Need a room to stay for the night, use the stipend. Need to make a big bet in baccarat to worm out LeChifre, get your sponsor to bankroll you. Need to buy magic items - stipend is not applicable.

    So you go to Q's Workshop at first level and get your basic allocation of treasure to "buy" your initial equipment. I'm assuming Armor, Weapon, and Miscellaneous.

    When you return to Q's Workshop at 2nd level you can choose to turn in one of those items for an equivalent item of Level+1, Level, or Level-1. At every level you get a choice to turn in an item and get a more capable "replacement". You also get X amount for disposable items, and a regular stipend that you can use for petty cash. The stipend is never used to buy stuff at Q's Workshop.

  7. #17
    Member
    Grandmaster of Flowers (Lvl 18)



    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    7,894
    Quote Originally Posted by hirou View Post
    I was thinking about converting the campaign to inherent bonuses rules, but that actually leaves even more spare gold to use on low-level useful items.
    Well, inherent bonuses have been introduced in the Dark Sun setting for a reason: There's a basic assumption that magic items are rare and treasure sparse. Apart from potions (or 'magic fruits' to stay within the setting), you probably will not find any maigc items for sale. There's also a higher percentage of combats against 'beasts' that don't carry treasure.

    So, I guess, to make best use of the inherent bonus rules, you should consider adjusting the amount of treasure, as well. I don't recall if the Dark Sun books had any guidelines for this, though.

    P.S.: Your remark about having several implements ready to choose from again reminded me of 3e: I recall having a golf caddy of different weapons available to deal with all kinds of monsters and their damage resistances: Basically, you needed weapons made from silver, cold-iron, and adamantine, ideally also something good-aligned, and maybe lawful-aligned, for melee and ranged combat.

  8. #18
    Member
    Minor Trickster (Lvl 4)



    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Bryan TX
    Posts
    166
    I managed to run my group all the way through Zeitgeist (though with an accelerated epic tier that was basically just the most significant combats and narrating the rest due to needing to wrap things up before a move). I'd definitely recommend it to others. It has a strong plot with NPCs that are interesting with clear motivations, making it easier to adapt when players don't follow the expectations. As others said, combat plays to 4e's strength by making things varied with enemies that can show personality and get plot across through the battle. But there's also enough there to keep things interesting when the group doesn't want to necessarily fight their way through everything.

    On that note, I would suggest making sure you have buy-in from the group about the party being government agents and clear about the long-term nature of the campaign, with some of my main problems coming from early on before they realized how some of their actions might come back to bite them as they were more used to more consequence free games with most just having experience from the Encounters organized play adventures. If your group ends up being a more casual beer and pretzel type group Zeitgeist probably wouldn't be as good of a fit.

    While the advice to be sure to have an idea of the whole path before starting probably applies to most adventure paths, I would emphasize it for Zeitgeist, as there were a few hiccups that I ran into due not having all the adventures written when I started running things. The trickiest was where the path assumed somebody would be chosen to become the new king, when none of the group really seemed to be fit for that. While the earlier adventures suggest ways to set that up for those who seem to be a good fit, with our group keeping the original king alive it created some plot holes where he could have stepped in at times the group was doing other things.

    I'll agree with others saying the reputation system breaks down at higher levels, and I ended up mostly dropping it other than for more qualitative descriptions for how different groups would react to the party.
    XP RangerWickett, Tequila Sunrise gave XP for this post

  9. #19
    Member
    Orcus on an Off-Day (Lvl 22)

    RangerWickett's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Decatur, GA
    Posts
    14,798
    Quote Originally Posted by mcmillan View Post
    I managed to run my group all the way through Zeitgeist (though with an accelerated epic tier that was basically just the most significant combats and narrating the rest due to needing to wrap things up before a move). I'd definitely recommend it to others. It has a strong plot with NPCs that are interesting with clear motivations, making it easier to adapt when players don't follow the expectations. As others said, combat plays to 4e's strength by making things varied with enemies that can show personality and get plot across through the battle. But there's also enough there to keep things interesting when the group doesn't want to necessarily fight their way through everything.

    On that note, I would suggest making sure you have buy-in from the group about the party.
    How did your game end?

    Also, I'm not doing the 5e conversion, but I was tempted to rejigger the requisition system to actually be more Q like, where each adventure the party would be given some new items that could be used in interesting ways, with a bit of slack to get items for the long term.

Similar Threads

  1. New official websites for WotBS and ZEITGEIST
    By Morrus in forum EN Publishing, WOIN, ZEITGEIST, WotBS, & Worlds of 2000AD
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: Tuesday, 14th May, 2013, 02:55 PM
  2. 5e conversion of Zeitgeist or WotBS?
    By ratzofftoya in forum EN Publishing, WOIN, ZEITGEIST, WotBS, & Worlds of 2000AD
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: Sunday, 23rd December, 2012, 01:21 AM
  3. How would you rate ZEITGEIST and WotBS?
    By RangerWickett in forum EN Publishing, WOIN, ZEITGEIST, WotBS, & Worlds of 2000AD
    Replies: 18
    Last Post: Monday, 23rd July, 2012, 06:06 AM
  4. WotBS critiques for Zeitgeist planning?
    By UnknownAtThisTime in forum EN Publishing, WOIN, ZEITGEIST, WotBS, & Worlds of 2000AD
    Replies: 36
    Last Post: Thursday, 24th February, 2011, 05:38 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •